Editor’s Picks: 9 of the Best Face Wipes for Clean Skin on the Go

Effective and eco-friendly.
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Best face wipes

Have you sworn off face wipes because of their questionable ingredients, icky residue and harm to the environment?

It's time to reconsider. There's a new generation of wipes on the market that are a vast improvement over their predecessors.

No, they won't replace a good old-fashioned cleanse with face wash and running water. 

What they WILL do is remove dirt, oil and makeup when you can't get to a sink, with ingredients that are kinder to your skin (and won't leave a film behind). 

Once you're done, wipes that are made from biodegradable materials will naturally break down, and some can even be composted.

So read on to find out what to look for in a wipe, and the best products I've found.

What to Look for in a Face Wipe

When choosing a face wipe, I recommend avoiding or limiting the following ingredients:

  • Fragrance: Whether natural or synthetic, fragrance is the most common cause of skin irritation.
  • Silicones: These film-formers not only leave behind unpleasant residue, but can also trap debris and dead skin, triggering breakouts.
  • Mineral oil: Similar to silicones, mineral oil has occlusive properties that could lead to acne.
  • Sulfates: These cleansing agents tend to be too harsh, even when rinsed off—let alone left on your skin.
  • Alcohol: While fatty alcohols are fine, drying types (such as denatured alcohol) can strip your skin of needed moisture.
  • PUFAs: Polyunsaturated fatty acids are unstable and prone to rapid oxidation (which ages your skin).

However, even with the best ingredients, face wipes still have the potential to irritate or cause breakouts, since you're not washing off the cleansing agents, emulsifiers and preservatives. 

That's why it's a good idea to rinse your skin with water after using a face wipe, if possible. You don't need a sink to do this, by the way. You can just generously mist your skin with a thermal water like Avène Eau Thermale, and then pat off with a tissue!

It's also extremely important that your wipes are biodegradable—otherwise, they could take decades (!!) to decompose in a landfill. Avoid plastic textiles and look for the following materials instead:

  • Cotton
  • Bamboo
  • Plant cellulose
  • Wood pulp
  • Viscose rayon

Now, on to my top picks!

The Best Face Wipes

Ursa Major Essential Face Wipes

✓Biodegradable ✓Silicone-free ✓Mineral oil-free ✓Sulfate-free ✓Low-alcohol ✓PUFA-free ✓Cruelty-free

Ursa Major Essential Face Wipes

Ursa Major Essential Face Wipes

Ursa Major Essential Face Wipes are a portable version of the brand's 4-in-1 Essential Face Tonic. Not only do they cleanse, they also gently exfoliate using sugarcane (a natural alpha-hydroxy acid) and willow bark (a natural beta-hydroxy acid). The aloe vera base is soothing and hydrating. Each wipe is made from bamboo and comes individually wrapped.

Bioderma Sensibio H2O Make-Up Removing Wipes

✓Biodegradable ✓Silicone-free ✓Mineral oil-free ✓Sulfate-free ✓Alcohol-free ✓PUFA-free 

Bioderma Sensibio H2O Make-Up Removing Wipes

Bioderma Sensibio H2O Make-Up Removing Wipes

Bioderma Sensibio H2O Make-Up Removing Wipes were inspired by the brand's cult-favourite Sensibio H2O micellar water. So they share a similar, minimal ingredients list (although there is a small amount of fragrance in here). While I will always prefer the original liquid formula on a cotton pad, these are the next best thing—and they're equally gentle. 

Cleanse by Lauren Napier Facial Cleansing Wipes

✓Biodegradable ✓Silicone-free ✓Mineral oil-free ✓Sulfate-free ✓Low-alcohol ✓PUFA-free ✓Cruelty-free

Cleanse by Lauren Napier Facial Cleansing Wipes

Cleanse by Lauren Napier Facial Cleansing Wipes

Cleanse by Lauren Napier Facial Cleansing Wipes came about after celebrity makeup artist Lauren Napier couldn't find face wipes she liked—so she decided to create her own. Made from plush, textured cotton, these sweep away grime while hydrating and calming all skin types. Plus, they come in individual sachets, so they'll never dry out. She also has two other versions: Flaunt for brightening and nourishing, and La Rosé for balancing oily and acne-prone skin.

Skyn Iceland Glacial Cleansing Cloths

✓Biodegradable ✓Silicone-free ✓Mineral oil-free ✓Sulfate-free ✓Alcohol-free ✓Low-PUFA ✓Cruelty-free

Skyn Iceland Glacial Cleansing Cloths

Skyn Iceland Glacial Cleansing Cloths

Skyn Iceland Glacial Cleansing Cloths are unique in that they actually produce a foam when you use them—no water or rinsing required. That makes them super effective at getting off dirt and makeup, as the mineral-rich Icelandic glacier water soothes your skin.

Josie Maran Bare Naked Wipes

✓Biodegradable ✓Silicone-free ✓Mineral oil-free ✓Sulfate-free ✓Alcohol-free ✓Low-PUFA ✓Cruelty-free

Josie Maran Bear Naked Wipes

Josie Maran Bear Naked Wipes

Josie Maran Bare Naked Wipes are a mostly natural option that should be gentle enough for even sensitive skin. They're saturated in aloe vera and a coconut-derived emollient, along with chamomile, cucumber and marshmallow extracts. Bonus: A portion of every sale goes toward protecting endangered polar bears!

Klorane Make-Up Remover Biodegradable Wipes

✓Biodegradable ✓Fragrance-free ✓Silicone-free ✓Mineral oil-free ✓Sulfate-free ✓Alcohol-free ✓Low-PUFA

Klorane Make-Up Remover Biodegradable Wipes

Klorane Make-Up Remover Biodegradable Wipes

Klorane Make-Up Remover Biodegradable Wipes were designed with sensitive skin and eyes in mind. As such, they're fragrance-free, with a pH similar to our own tears—which makes them ideal for contact lens wearers. Cornflower water and glycerin give them a refreshing, non-oily texture.

Koh Gen Do Cleansing Spa Water Cloths

✓Biodegradable ✓Silicone-free ✓Mineral oil-free ✓Sulfate-free ✓Alcohol-free ✓PUFA-free ✓Cruelty-free

Koh Gen Do Cleansing Spa Water Cloths

Koh Gen Do Cleansing Spa Water Cloths

Koh Gen Do Cleansing Spa Water Cloths are thick cotton cloths marinated in the brand's signature blend of thermal water, botanical extracts and white birch sap. (The latter is high in minerals, vitamins and amino acids.) Although gentle on the skin, they take off even waterproof makeup—no wonder they have a cult following!

Acure Seriously Soothing Micellar Water Cleansing Towelettes

✓Biodegradable ✓Silicone-free ✓Mineral oil-free ✓Sulfate-free ✓Alcohol-free ✓PUFA-free ✓Cruelty-free

Acure Seriously Soothing Micellar Water Cleansing Towelettes

Acure Seriously Soothing Micellar Water Cleansing Towelettes

Acure Seriously Soothing Micellar Water Cleansing Towelettes are one of the most affordable and natural options. Each wipe is composed of plant cellulose and is soaked in a gentle micellar solution containing glycerin, aloe and various botanical extracts. These do foam up a bit, but don't require rinsing and are sensitive skin-friendly.

Consonant Come Clean Anytime Natural Cleansing Cloths

✓Biodegradable ✓Silicone-free ✓Mineral oil-free ✓Sulfate-free ✓Alcohol-free ✓PUFA-free ✓Cruelty-free

Consonant Come Clean Anytime Natural Cleansing Cloths

Consonant Come Clean Anytime Natural Cleansing Cloths

Consonant Come Clean Anytime Natural Cleansing Cloths are 100 percent natural, compostable bamboo wipes that are super refreshing on your skin. Besides coco betaine, a gentle surfactant, they're infused with glycerin, aloe and chamomile—so they won't dry you out. But best of all, they're high in niacinamide to help brighten and even out tone.

Shop Editor’s Picks

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